That ’90s Show has been getting positive reviews. It’s probably one of the few TV reboots to get good ratings after Sex and the City’s cringe sequel, And Just Like That, and 2021’s flop, Gossip Girl.
But that comes with a lot of pressure, with one of the Netflix series’ stars, Debra Jo Rupp feeling nervous about watching her fellow That ’70s Show alum, Laura Prepon direct the new show. Here’s why.
What Laura Prepon Thinks About That ’90s Show
Prepon — who got to reprise her role as Donna in That ’90s Show — said that it was “fun” to work in the sequel alongside the new cast. “It’s so fun,” the director told Us Weekly. “It’s all the same sets. When I first went there, I cried. I’m just like, ‘The nostalgia is so strong and it was such an incredible time in my life.’ I can’t wait for people to see it. I think they’re really, really gonna get a kick out of it.”
The Orange is the New Black star added that “oddly,” it didn’t feel “weird” to play Donna again. “It just was like the nostalgia of it,” she said, noting that she’d remained close to her co-stars all these years. “You don’t realize like, it’s still, like, if I hear Todd Rundgren’s [song] Hello, It’s Me, I burst into tears ’cause that’s the pilot song, you know, that was like the Eric and Donna [theme song and] it was a really pinnacle song for that relationship, but yeah, it’s great [to return].”
On Facebook, the actress also spilled a hidden ’70s Show detail that made it on the reboot. “They actually moved the old That ’70s Show living room couch down into the basement,” she revealed. “Little [details] like that are so cute.” She also used the platform to give fans a behind-the-scenes tour of the show’s set. “You guys have been asking what it was like to film & direct #That90sShow for Netflix, so here’s a lil’ behind the scenes answer for ya!” she wrote alongside the tour video.
Why Debra Jo Rupp Felt Nervous Watching Laura Prepon Direct That ’90s Show
In an interview with Yahoo Canada in January 2023, Rupp praised Prepon for directing an episode of That ’90s Show. However, she did admit to feeling nervous about it.
“I was very proud of her, I was immensely proud of her and I was nervous for her, because that’s who I am,” the actress told the outlet’s Kitty Forman. “If she got a little bit nervous, because the first time in a new job, I would pick up on that and I just wanted her to do really good.”
Rupp added that she’d work with Prepon as the director anytime.
“What was great about having Laura as the director is that she could work with those kids and she knew what the kids were going through,” said the Dr. Ruth star. “She could really communicate with them. She was amazing. I would work with Laura Prepon as the director anytime.”
Another ‘70s show OG and ’90s show star, Kurtwood Smith also had some feedback about Prepon’s directorial performance.
“Laura has always been so bossy and mean that it was just easy to accept,” he joked. “No, she’s a sweetheart and she’s very smart. We had no problems dealing with her as a director and it’s wonderful to see her back playing Donna. She’d had some experience, she had done some directing on Orange is the New Black, and I had actually done a little short film with her. I knew she knew what she was doing.”
What The Cast Of That ’90s Show Feel About Starring In The Reboot
The young cast members of That ’90s Show are all thrilled about being part of the reboot. Speaking to The Mary Sue in February 2023, Maxwell Acee Donovan — who plays Nate — that the show is reminiscent of his childhood.
“I grew up in a small town in Colorado that when I was growing up there, it wasn’t too far. Like it still seemed like it was the ’90s in that town,” he recalled. “So my cars all have cassette players and all that sort of thing. But my parents lent me a bunch of their ’90s stuff, all their VHS tapes and I actually broke our VHS player, which my bad.”
Sam Morelos (Nikki) also shared her reflection on how “teenagers don’t really change throughout the decades.”
She explained that, “you see that in the writing of That 70s Show, That 90s Show. And like a lot of shows today, it’s kind of just very friend group focused, our show,” adding that the “problems that they face within the relationships are also similar to the kinds that I face now with my friends too, of certain tensions in that way.” As for Reyn Doi (Ozzie), he said he “learned to appreciate how much technology has advanced” in doing the show.
“In the episode where Ozzie has with Kitty, Ozzie knows a lot about technology. He’s sort of the smart one of the group and he’s teaching Kitty and Red about this new computer and how it takes five minutes to restart,” he said.
“I couldn’t imagine taking five minutes of my day every time I wanted to restart my phone or my computer. And so every time I want look at my phone, it’s just right there and I have it. So it’s different. So I think I appreciate the generation that I live in now more than I used to.”